Today’s believers have been accused of turning their back on the traditions of the church and not being as devoted to God over all. In some cases this has to do with not learning the word of God as in years past. However, the success of a newly released app reveals there may be more in play when it comes to how today’s believers interact with the Word of God.
Bible Lens is a free app which recently launched to unprecedented success on Friday. So far, there have been over 265,000 installations in under three days time. This makes Bible Lens the second most popular app install, behind only YouTube. This is significant as it has beaten ultra popular free apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger.
While it’s wonderful that Bible Lens has found the success it has enjoyed, it’s worth noting that it does do more than just provide access to God’s word as a typical Bible app. It actually finds relevant Bible verses to match with a person’s photos to create sharable, visually appealing pieces of artwork, designed for easy user sharing. This plays right into the popularity of social media among the modern generation and brings God’s word right into their world.
Pastor of Life.Church and founder of YouVersion Bobby Gruenewald says the new app will be instrumental in helping Christians share their faith in a modern way.
“Technologies emerge and create new possibilities, it’s important to us that the Bible be at the forefront of innovation,” he said. “We believe Bible Lens will make it easier for people to see connections between the Bible and their everyday lives, and we’re encouraged by the number of people who have shown an interest in engaging with the Bible in this way.”
YouVersion is a Bible app that has enjoyed significant growth since its launch on July 10th, 2008. While starting out offering only 15 versions of the Bible in two languages, it now boasts 1,700 versions in 1,200 languages. The app has successfully stayed up-to-date with smartphone innovations. Throughout the years, it has allowed users to reach Bible reading goals thanks to tools like reading reminders and verse of the day notification features.
It makes sense that these two tools, which utilize technology to enhance the Christian experience, would both enjoy immense success among believers. Over the course of YouVersion’s existence throughout the past 10 years, it has been downloaded to 330 million devices globally. This has provided access to 70 billion chapters of the Bible, and enabled listeners to enjoy 12 billion audio chapters with some 2.4 billion Bible plans being successfully completed.
“We never could have predicted the results we’ve seen as millions of people around the world have read, listened to, shared, and interacted with the Bible and each other in new ways,” Grunewald said.
These technological tools enhance the traditions of Christianity by bringing Scripture into the modern era. Gruenewald believes this is essential for keeping faith alive in an increasingly secular society.
“Early on, we discovered that proximity helped us engage with the Bible,” he explained. “As soon as I had access to the Bible on the phone that’s always in my pocket, my connection to it naturally became more frequent.”
While some people might be apt to disregard the validity of technological advancements and apps when it comes to God’s Word, one can be argued that such innovations make it easier for believers to read Scripture and should therefore be considered beneficial. Of course, there is something to be said for using the paper version of the Bible. However, if a Bible app like YouVersion or Bible Lens will take God’s word and make it easier to access, share, enjoy and learn, the benefits of such technology likely far outweigh any negative elements.
~ 1776 Christian